Monday, 4 May 2009

A Short History Of Almost Something

Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer celebrates her 33rd birthday this week. In her latest mailout, she seems a little depressed that some people, such as Jesus and John Lennon, had already done their best work by the time they reached 33. She also asks those of us on her mailing list to do something for her:

"i am going to actually ask, for the first time in my life, for a gift. from you. my people. here is what i'd like for my birthday:
please take this moment in time and think about one person, any person, who you think might like my music and my art. someone who doesn't know it. someone who does not have amanda fucking palmer in their life and might like her there. this does not have to be a peer. it could be a child, a mother, an ex, an uncle, an befriended
enemy, a co-worker, a long-lost friend, a whatever. ANYONE.
picture them in your mind. picture if their life might possibly be made better if you brought some afp into it.
please send/get to them either of the following (in any format your lifestyle or computer literacy allows for) (and explain why you are sending this. explain why you like this artist. explain that it's her birthday and she's asked you, as a favor to her, to do this. the worst they will do is delete your email, tell you to fuck off, or disown you)

either 1 - a copy of WHO KILLED AMANDA PALMER. if you don't think they have the attention span for the whole album, send them a track. i cannot tell you how proud i am of this record i made. you may have heard the songs on youtube or live, but if you haven't heard the actual record, YOU HAVE NO IDEA. ben folds and i slaved over it for MONTHS. it's awesome. i know. i've heard it 1,392 times and it's still not boring.

or 2 - a youtube clip of one of your favorite AFP videos."

Amanda's solo album "Who Killed Amanda Palmer" was one of my favourite releases of last year, it's such a good record that I'm prepared to overlook the lack of punctuation in its title. But there might be copyright issues if I made the whole thing available for download here, so I guess I should go for option 2 and include a few videos.

We should probably start with "Oasis". I know some people reading this are not particularly keen on the Dresden Dolls (I can think of one person who hates them with a passion and has berated me on several occasions for wearing a Dolls t-shirt) but I don't think anyone could deny that this is one of the best pop songs of recent years. The video was apparently banned in the UK; it seems that many people can't cope with the topic of abortion. Amanda justifies the song's apparently flippant handling of a controversial subject: "When you cannot joke about the darkness of life, that's when the darkness takes over."

"Leeds United", also released as a single, is similarly catchy:

As well as these poppy numbers, the album contains some of Amanda's best piano ballads, in particular "Ampersand":

This final one is not included on the album, but it might interest the Radiohead fans who I know will be reading this:

Hopefully at least one person who reads this will now feel inspired to check out the album, and Amanda can stop worrying about not having achieved enough in her 33 years.


BiluĊ› said...

Thanks for this, Rebellious - I'd somehow not heard of Amanda or the Dolls: wonderful, thoughtful, amazing stuff! Their website describes them as Brechtian Punk Cabaret, which somehow sounds about right - I'll be passing this on, as so eloquently requested...

Caedes said...

I hadn't heard of either the Dresden Dolls or Amada Palmer until reading this, so I guess I will have to check them out in more detail now. Great stuff although Amanda is a bit scary, the last time I saw teeth like that I was watching an aliens movie!
Thanks for the heads up.